(USA Features) Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts did not take well to what he perceived as a “dangerous” threat from Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Wednesday, issuing a rare public rebuke of his comments.
Earlier in the day, Schumer, in comments regarding an abortion case argued before the court this week stemming from a Louisiana law, singled out two justices nominated by President Trump — Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh — when he said they would “pay the price” if they ruled in favor of the state.
“Inside the walls of this court, the Supreme Court is hearing arguments, as you know, for the first major abortion rights cases since Justice Kavanaugh and Justice Gorsuch came to the bench,” Schumer said. “We know what’s at stake. Over the last three years, women’s reproductive rights have come under attack in a way we haven’t seen in modern history.”
“Republican legislatures are waging a war on women, all women, and they’re taking away fundamental rights,” Schumer added.
“I want to tell you Gorsuch, I want to tell you Kavanaugh, you have released the whirlwind and you will pay the price. You won’t know what hit you if you go forward with these awful decisions.”
In response, Roberts issued a statement criticizing those comments as unwarranted and threatening.
“This morning, Senator Schumer spoke at a rally in front of the Supreme Court while a case was being argued inside,” Roberts said in a statement.
“Senator Schumer referred to two Members of the Court by name and said he wanted to tell them that ‘You have released the whirlwind, and you will pay the price. You will not know what hit you if you go forward with these awful decisions,'” he continued.
“Justices know that criticism comes with the territory, but threatening statements of this sort from the highest levels of government are not only inappropriate, they are dangerous,” Roberts added. “All Members of the Court will continue to do their job, without fear or favor, from whatever quarter.”
President Trump also lambasted Schumer, calling for action against the minority leader.
“This is a direct & dangerous threat to the U.S. Supreme Court by Schumer. If a Republican did this, he or she would be arrested, or impeached. Serious action MUST be taken NOW!” he tweeted.
George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley, a noted constitutional expert, also criticized Schumer.
“Schumer’s threat to the Court that ‘you will pay the price’ is a direct attack on the integrity of our courts. I criticized Trump for his reckless comments about the courts. Where is the chorus of condemnation of Schumer? Schumer sounded more like a stalker than a statesman,” he tweeted.